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As reported by: Dr. Awkward

This summer, I hosted six role-playing events for young people at the Origins International Game Expo, and I am very pleased to annouce that each one was an incredible success! Below is my report on the results of these expeditions.

It seems that word has gotten around about 2007's program, as four of the six events were sold out over two weeks before the convention started!

I had a great group of young people and parents for each event, though I seemed to have more young people and fewer adults at the events this year compared to last. One parent graciously surrendered her seat so that a young lady with a generic token could get in on the game. (I think that next year, I may make a point of bringing extra minor characters for the benefit of the adults who prefer to hang around to watch the game, so that they can join in the fun as well.)

Two of my players - Nate and Lauryn - were returning players from last year. Lauryn returned for another Faery's Tale adventure, and Nate showed up for four different adventures!

But first, are you experienced? The experience levels were a bit higher than last year's events, likely due to the greater number of players involved. Most of the players were experienced with tabletop RPGs in one way or another, and some were outright veterans of adventure games like Shadowrun and Champions. The rest - each and every one of them - were seasoned experts by the end of their respective adventures.

On to the details! It is somewhat difficult to remember the details of each adventure, as all of them were fast-paced and full of character action. I hope to recap each one as best as I can here, but if you were a player in one of the adventures and don't see one of your ultra heroic actions described here, please forgive me.

NOTICE! I will eventually have all of the characters and adventures available here on the site, so that anyone can download them and have some fun at home. Keep watching this page for more information!

Thursday: I ran a TOON game titled ChaosCon 2008 a reprise of the "bash-fest" adventure that I ran the previous year. ChaosCon is Toondom's largest (and most chaotic) geekery convention, and it always seems to draw the most destructive gang of ruffians around.

This year was no different, as Persephone the packrat scoured the rat tunnels beneath the convention center looking for a husband, Jim the security guard drove his 1972 AMC Pacer through the glass breezeway, Vlad LeStratocaster spent most of the adventure as a flying baseball bat (after a badly botched Change Shape roll), and Theg the ogre (who is an actual ogre, and not a person in an ogre suit) caused a riot after falling into the ladies' room, chasing out a stampede of Sailor Moon cosplayers.

Things got even more hectic when MechaCyberRobo started blasting holes through the ceiling of the center, causing a fleet of angry Shriners in their miniature cars to fall through, and the cosplayers triggered a tidal wave of dice, figures, and collectible cards in the dealer's room.

Friday - On this day, I ran two adventures. The first was Crawl of Catchoolu - a Lovecraftian spoof using the TOON RPG.

I should also add that Steve Jackson Games found out about my events and donated a copy of the Toon Ace Catalog to give away at the close of the adventure - so I had each player vote for any other player who they felt gave the best role-playing performance.

(Be sure to look for next year's Catchoolu adventure, At the Molehills of Madness!)

My second game on Friday was

Friday, June 27th, 4:00pm - Curse of the Scary Godmother - An adventure using the Faery's Tale RPG. Annelise, a mortal child, doesn't know why her faery godmother has been acting so strangely lately, and it's up to the heroes to get to the bottom of things (and to undo all the mischief that her "scary godmother" has been up to! Event # 6867



Saturday, June 28th, 10:00am - The Case of the Rock Star's Ghost - An adventure using the Meddling Kids RPG. An old theater scheduled for demolition is haunted by the ghost of a dead rock star. Is it a real ghost? Why has it suddenly started appearing? Will the meddling kids ever get to the bottom of this mystery? Event # 7101



Saturday, June 28th, 2:00pm - Loose Threads - An adventure using the Prince's Kingdom RPG. In Islandia, the king's daughters and sons travel to the many islands of the kingdom to restore order and keep the peace. But one day, when a beautiful tapestry is stolen from the great hall of one of the islands, the princes find that solving the crime is one of their biggest challenges ever. Event # 7242


Sunday, June 29th, 11:00am - The Ruins of OnceWas - An adventure using the Zorceror of Zo RPG. A motley team of adventurers must explore an abandoned city to find the answer to an ancient riddle. But what they find there is even more mysterious than the riddle itself. Event # 7493


I also had the opportunity to engage in some Fuzzy Heroes skirmishes while I was there. Fuzzy Heroes is a wargame - strictly tactical, with no real character portrayal - that uses stuffed toys as "figures." I played both confrontations with my friend Sean, who is an eager and amiable opponent.

This year's adventure series seemed to have an unexpected (but very welcome) side effect - inspiring certain young people to try their hand at gamemastering. I received an electronic post from the father of one of my return players, who informed me that his daughter had prepared her own adventure for Faery's Tale, and brought her entire family together to play it (including her sisters, who are usually too "cool" to play adventure games).

Along with that, I caught my very own progeny, Agent N, running her own freeform adventure game for two of her friends, Agents M and Z, borrowing elements from the Zorceror of Zo story I had run earlier that day.

Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say - and in that vein, I would like to put together a new resource for the Tinkerer's Toolbox, a series of helpful tips for young people who wish to take on the mantle of gamemaster. Look for it soon!

INFORMATION ABOUT ORIGINS: The Origins International Game Expo is held in Columbus, Ohio during midsummer - usually the last weekend of June or first weekend of July. Each year it draws between 10,000 and 15,000 game enthusiasts from around the nation. Tabletop and live-action role-playing events are only part of the fun - Origins also features a large variety of board and card games, wargames, and even video games. You can find out more about the Origins International Game Expo at

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